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March 30, 2010


Don't know if any of you have read this - possibly all of you have, but it's something that spoke to me 12 years ago when I was going through a tough time and trying to find peace. I haven't really thought much about it lately, even though I have a 12 year old yellowed, scotch-taped copy of it here, but I was inspired by a fellow blogger today. You can read her post here. It made me re-read it, which made me feel a little peaceful. Hope you enjoy...


    Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
    and remember what peace there may be in silence.
    As far as possible without surrender
    be on good terms with all persons.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
    and listen to others,
    even the dull and the ignorant;
    they too have their story.

    Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
    they are vexations to the spirit.
    If you compare yourself with others,
    you may become vain and bitter;
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

    Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
    it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
    Exercise caution in your business affairs;
    for the world is full of trickery.
    But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
    many persons strive for high ideals;
    and everywhere life is full of heroism.

    Be yourself.
    Especially, do not feign affection.
    Neither be cynical about love;
    for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
    it is as perennial as the grass.

    Take kindly the counsel of the years,
    gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
    But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
    Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
    Beyond a wholesome discipline,
    be gentle with yourself.

    You are a child of the universe,
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

    Therefore be at peace with God,
    whatever you conceive Him to be,
    and whatever your labors and aspirations,
    in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world.
    Be cheerful.
    Strive to be happy.

    Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

March 17, 2010

Welcome Back & a Recipe for Mac...and Cheese ;)

Ok, so I've been very sick - for like a month - except for about 5 days between the strep and whatever it was that I brought home from Mexico. Yes, I got to go to Mexico. No, I haven't posted pictures yet. It's about #3 on my list of things to do after I get some paid work done :)

Priorities, right?!?!

Speaking of those, instead of working this afternoon, I'm having a BRAND NEW BABY come to my house! Yeay! For those of you that know me, and for those of you that don't but can see here that I have 4 children, I obviously LOVE babies.

So today my girlfriend and her new baby are coming over. I bribed them with lunch. I even offered to bring it to them so they didn't have to get out of the house, but I think it's that time of the year and her family is starting to go back home, so she's probably itching to get out :) At least I was around that time...of course, 4 kids, yeah...you start to get some MAJOR cabin fever stuck in with them for that long.

Here's the Mac&Cheese recipe - quite honestly, I'm posting it now finally because I hate digging for it every time I want to make it and now I can share it with you too! Yeay!

Macaroni and Cheese

4 cups Dried Macaroni
¼ cups Butter
½ small onion, grated
¼ cups All-purpose Flour
2-½ cups Whole Milk
2 teaspoons Dry Mustard, More If Desired (I desire mustard powder...I use more...just heap 'em up!)
1 whole Egg Beaten
1 pound Cheese, Grated (I like to use the sharpest cheddar I can find, maybe 12 oz and then another 4 oz of something softer, like a jack…but all cheddar is really yummy too)


½ teaspoons Salt, More To Taste
½ teaspoons Ground Black Pepper

optional: a pinch of cayenne for a little bite (me likey! - some people don't - it's a personal thing)

ALSO - paprika for sprinkling over the top - this is a grandmother thing so I don't normally do it unless I'm serving it to her :)


Cook macaroni until very firm, about 2 mn short. Drain.

In a small bowl, beat egg.

In a large pot, melt butter and then add onion. Cook 2-3 minutes or until soft. Sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn or get too dark. Brown Mac&Cheese isn't quite as appetizing...

Slowly pour in milk and whisk until smooth. Add mustard powder and whisk in. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.

Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth. (This is called tempering - it prevents the eggs from cooking into scrambled eggs when you add it to the hot sauce)

Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.

Add in cheese a large handful at a time and stir to melt.

Add salt and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt as needed! DO NOT UNDERSALT.

Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.
Pour into a buttered 9 x 13 baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.

My grandmother also sometimes combines cornflakes/bread crumbs/etc. with butter and cheese and puts that on top. Either way is good…